A little while ago, I was asked if I would write a post on grief. I said “yes,” and promptly forgot (or maybe thought who would be interested lol), but yesterday I found myself telling two new friends my story……
……so here goes nothing!
I’ll start by introducing myself. My friends call me Mu, I’m 51 and a mother of 4 beautiful young adults, Nadiya 21, Sarah 19, Sophia 17, and my baby boy Daniel 14. I couldn’t be prouder of them. They are my world.
On Monday 11th December 2006 my world was turned upside down….
On a rainy Monday morning, the girls were up and ready for school and playgroup, but baby Dan didn’t want to wake up. My wonderful husband said he would sort the baby out whilst I took the girls to school. Father and son spent that extra half hour together… little did I know it would be the last time. When I got back, he didn’t want to go to work. He said he wanted to stay with his family, and I wish he’d taken the day off. But, off he went with a kiss goodbye and as always, telling me he loved me.
The day progressed as normal, with my usual calls from my loving husband, (he rang me 3/4 times a day just to say “hi”). At 4pm he rang to say he was leaving work and did I need any shopping… I replied “no,” saying that dinner would be ready when he got home (homemade chicken pie, mash potatoes and veg). Mine and his pies burned … the kids ones were ok!!
Something was not quite right…
I started feeding the kids as it was all cooked and getting cold and I remember force feeding Sophia. The others had finished and gone to watch tv, she asked “why are you crying mummy?” I didn’t know why except that daddy was never late and he should have been home by now.
After a short time, I rang his mobile, and there was no response, but that wasn’t a surprise. So, I rang his friend and colleague Phil but he hadn’t seen him leave. Karen, (Phil’s wife and my friend) rang me back and said she had sent Phil out to check the roads. Five minutes later Phil rang back to say there was some sort of accident and my husband was probably stuck in that. But, in actual fact he was the accident.
The dreaded knock on the door
I was still trying to feed Sophia when there was a knock at the door and I could see hi-viz jackets through the glass panels. On opening the door I just said “no, don’t you dare tell me anything” to the two policemen!
They asked about the car and who would have been driving. I was hysterical and I kept shouting it’s his car and he would be driving but I don’t want to hear anything had happened. I remember screaming and collapsing on the doorstep. It was all chaotic and I could hear the kids crying but I don’t remember getting up and going into the living room.
The police wanted to know who to get or call but I said I didn’t have any family locally. I told them to get Vicky from two doors down and she called all my friends and neighbours. I made the devastating calls to our parents, but I don’t remember much more.
Bereavement and family support
Friends and family rallied round
My only Muslim friend locally, Yasmin, came and it was her I turned to as I didn’t know what prayers I was supposed to do. At the same time, my mum organised care for my dad and got to mine around 3am with my auntie and cousins.
My friends were all still there – I think (it’s all a blank really), Frances was sorting the kids, Yasmin doing the prayers, Sally looking after me.
His family got there ASAP the next day too. Gen and Rob are my strength, I know I can always talk to them about anything.
My cousin Helen, took me to identify the body.
My life has never been the same again. That night and every night following I was supported by so many friends and family. I can’t ever thank them enough.
My kids are the only reason I didn’t die too, I knew they needed me. They are my everything but I can’t protect them from the heartache they still feel. I have bought them up with the knowledge that it was a pure accident. The other driver was a 17 year old boy who made a mistake, he wasn’t drunk or on drugs. He just lost control of his car on a country road and I’ve actually done the same, on that road. Fortunately I had the experience not to panic and also the luck that no-one was coming in the opposite direction.
Have you thought about bereavement counselling?
I didn’t want my kids growing up with the blackness of hatred in their hearts. I’ve taken them on holidays so they will have some happy memories and hope they will look back and think they had a good childhood even with this overwhelming loss. I know that their daddy would be as proud of them as I am.
Over the years the pain of the loss hasn’t gotten any less, not a day goes by when I don’t think of him, but it is God’s will and I believe that when you are born your death is already preordained.
I’m allowed to grieve and mourn the loss, but I realise that I’m also allowed to be happy and enjoy life. Life is too short not too! Some days are just harder than others that’s all! I have my family, old friends and new, who are all there if I need. Life is generally good.
Written by the brave and beautiful Mahmuda Hill
Thank you for sharing your story Mahmuda, we are sure that it will give strength to others who may be going through grief and bereavement. Your children are very lucky to have such amazing parents.The Group Hug